Top Online Event Management Software for Planners & Venues - Planning Pod

The #1 all-in-one event management software for event planners and venues

See how +20K professionals save 62+ hours/month and streamline processes and communications with our complete online event management software

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OVER 150,000 EVENTS MANAGED ... AND COUNTING

Three Solutions ... One Powerful Platform

Rustic Venue Location with Table Settings
For event venues and caterers

Venue Management Software

Simplify how you manage event bookings while boosting sales and enhancing communications among staff and clients.


PERFECT FOR MANAGING...

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Concert taking place at venue
For event planners and managers

Event Planning Software

Easily track hundreds of event details in real-time - including schedules and registrations - and keep everyone on the same page.


PERFECT FOR PLANNING...

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Banquet Setup at Venue
For professional event layouts

Floor Plan Software

Create clean, to-scale designs for your events with our intuitive tools. Also included in our Event Planning and Venue Management suites.


CREATE EVENT SETUPS FOR...

  • Banquets
  • Boardrooms
  • Classrooms
  • Cocktail Areas
  • Dining Areas
  • Expos & Trade Shows
  • Multi-Use Spaces
  • Outdoor Spaces
  • Social Distancing
  • Theater Spaces
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20+ EASY-TO-USE TOOLS THAT WORK TOGETHER

Planning Pod’s all-in-one platform gives you the power to...

Planning Pod Tools List

 Track every detail in one convenient place

Spreading your event data across countless spreadsheets, stand-alone apps and emails just makes your job harder. We integrate 20+ event-specific tools into one platform so every detail is at your fingertips (and those of your team members) throughout the entire event lifecycle.

"We chose Planning Pod because it's the only system on the market that can keep track of everything all in one location."
- Hannah Caraballo, Lake Erie Building Events

...

 Save time and streamline processes

Managing events and all the details involved can consume untold hours. Our tools are built to simplify common tasks and automate complex processes, freeing up your time and minimizing busywork so you can breathe and focus on higher level tasks.

...

"Planning Pod allows us to save time during the event planning process and be better organized through creating more efficient processes."
- Donald Dallaire, Handy & Dallaire Events

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Communications Tool

 Easily share ideas and collaborate

Our tools make it easy to communicate and coordinate with others in real-time. Centralize your event communications with integrated email tools and invite staff, clients and contractors into your account to start collaborating and sharing information.

"You make my life so much easier. No more tracking thousands of emails with different attachments. I can just log on and everything's there."
- Lise Sansom, Lythwood Lodge

...

 Work anywhere with our virtual solution

As we move toward a virtual world where remote work becomes the norm, Planning Pod’s online event management software platform gives you and your team the flexibility to access your event data and connect anywhere, anytime so you get more done.

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"Planning Pod keeps all our event information organized and in one place so our staff, clients and vendors can log in and collaborate, wherever they are."
- Gretchen Culver, Rocket Science Events

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 Minimize oversights and mistakes

Sometimes it only takes one missed deadline, lost file, misplaced email or dropped assignment to create chaos. Our event management software makes your work life drama-free with tools that keep you organized and on track.

"Planning Pod has drastically improved the efficiency and accuracy of tracking all of our events."
- Amanda Egloff, Boonshoft Museum

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LET US LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD

More ways we simplify how you manage events

Integrate with hundreds of platforms like Google, Quickbooks, Xero, Salesforce, MailChimp, Slack and EventBrite and share data across apps via Zapier.

Mobile-friendly version so you can log in via the Web browser of any computer, tablet or smartphone and access your account on-the-go.

Reporting and dashboards that give you an up-to-the-minute snapshot of hundreds of data points and enable you to make better decisions faster.

Mobile phone displaying Planning Pod contacts list

Account customization including branded account and document downloads plus templates for floor plans, schedules, task lists, budgets and more.

Customer support resources so you can get up to speed fast, including email/chat/phone support, online help portal and online training (select packages).

Data security and privacy like at-rest and in-transit data encryption, server-side firewall protection, daily remote backups and PCI payment compliance.


Ready to take control of your events?


USED BY 20,000+ EVENT PROFESSIONALS

Try our award-winning tools today for FREE!

Floor Plan Builder

Create professional event layouts in minutes. Impress clients, provide staff with clear direction, bring your vision of events to life and boost the event experience.

INCLUDED IN

Floor Plan Event Planning Venue Management

Email Communications

All users in your account can send and track event-related emails from one central inbox. Integrates with your existing email addresses.

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Event Planning Venue Management

Schedule/Itinerary Builder

Build detailed timelines for your events and assign items to contacts, vendors, categories and spaces. Add files and text/email reminders.

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Event Planning Venue Management

Task Manager

Built for the needs of event pros. Assign due dates, contacts, email/text reminders and attach files. Create smart templates that back out tasks from event dates.

INCLUDED IN

Event Planning Venue Management

Master/Bookings Calendar

Shared calendars let you and your team manage holds + event dates/bookings and stay on top of every deadline. Integrates with Google, Outlook, Apple calendars.

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Event Planning Venue Management

Budgeting

Add unlimited line items and track estimated, negotiated and actual costs as well as vendors, due dates and payments/reminders.

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Event Planning

Event Registrations

Boost your event promotion with our event registration / RSVP and ticketing tools. Build event websites, create custom tickets for paid or free events and collect payments.

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Event Planning

Attendee Management

Track event attendees' contact information, registration / RSVP details, VIP status, meal choices. Create seating charts and use the check-in app to manage guests at the door.

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Floor Plan Event Planning

Lead Manager

Collect leads via your website with online forms, then track them through your sales funnel. Manage email communications and notes.

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Event Planning Venue Management

Proposal / Invoice Builder

Build detailed proposals with image galleries and turn into contracts by collecting electronic signatures. Send out invoices and collect online payments.

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Event Planning Venue Management

Banquet Event Orders

Quickly create custom BEOs for front-of-house and kitchen staff. Automatically pull in event data like headcounts, menus, timelines, contact/venue info.

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Venue Management

Food-and-Beverage Manager

Set up standard food and beverage items and menu templates and then add them to events on-the-fly. Download menu PDFs to send to clients.

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Venue Management

Learn more about Planning Pod’s best-in-class event management software solutions


RECENT POST
Jeff Kear · Owner, Planning Pod

How to choose the best event management software for you


Event technology has practically exploded in the 21st Century, with thousands of software platforms and apps that event organizers and event managers can choose from.

And the event management software market might just be the broadest of all the event tech markets, mainly because so many types of tools are included under the umbrella of event management, which spans from enterprise-level conference and meeting management software, event registration and ticketing tools, events apps and virtual event platforms to venue software and event design and layout tools.

What can be even more intimidating is the sheer number of event management systems (which often fall under the rubric of software-as-a-service or SaaS) that offer one, many or most of these tool and feature sets, all with different configurations and pricing structures.

For example, all-in-one event management software solutions like Planning Pod provide a well-balanced set of tools for planning, registration and event management for events under 1,000 people as well as tools for venues to manage their bookings, leads and billings. Tools like Bizzabo, Cvent and Boomset have more enterprise, complex tool sets for managing large, 1,000+ conventions and trade shows. And yet other event software tools are available for niches like event ticket sales, event websites or event pages, mobile event apps and more.

For an event organizer or venue manager who simply wants the right tools to manage successful events, this can all be a bit daunting, which is why we are going to walk you through the nine most common tool sets that are marketed under the banner of event management software.

NOTE: Although this article is a great place to learn about what event management tools are available in the marketplace, you should first sit down and determine what software and functionality needs you will require for your future events. Make a list of those so that, when you are shopping for event management solutions, you know exactly what you are looking for.

Event Planning Software

Often many people think event planning and event management are synonymous, but to be honest, event planning software is a subset of event management that focuses on the behind-the-scenes, nuts-and-bolts organizational aspects of events.

This category of event technology has a project management slant with tools that aim to increase productivity when planning multiple events, which is why you will find that many event planning software platforms include tools for managing:

  • Collaborations, including employees, team members and volunteers
  • Vendors and suppliers
  • Event budgets, including costs and income
  • Run-of-show timelines and schedules
  • Task managers for tracking project flow, deadlines and milestones
  • Shared or team calendars
  • Internal and external communications

Enterprise-level event software apps may also include event planning tools that assist with exhibitor management, sponsor management and more complex event logistics.

Online Event Registration

Online event registration and ticketing tools may make up the largest portion of the event management software market, possibly due to both the high demand for selling event tickets online and the potentially high profit margins.

You will commonly find the following features offered by various registration and ticketing platforms:

  • Event websites or web pages for promoting your event + online ticketing
  • Customizable online registration forms for setting up tickets and collecting registrations, attendee details and payments
  • Credit card payment processing, which can include credit card processing fees plus per-ticket service charges from the software provider
  • Email communications for sending out registration confirmations, notifications and announcements
  • Analytics and reporting for tracking online registrations revenues and attendance

Note that it is common to see event planning software suites and event apps include registration and ticketing tools in their offerings.

When reviewing event registration tools, pay close attention to the following:

  • How the platform will enhance your attendees' event experience from the first touchpoint onward
  • Pricing structure, including fees and service charges
  • Ticketing setup options, including nested tickets, add-ons, discount codes, timed pricing, questionnaires, donations and legal terms
  • Event marketing options, including websites and social media integrations that can help you attract and sell tickets to more attendees

Floor Plan Creation

Online event design tools have become more and more popular over the last decade, and they have also become more sophisticated and feature-packed so that they more resemble graphic design software applications in both their user interface and the professional designs you can create with them. However, because many event layout solutions integrate with their own attendee management and check-in tools, they fall squarely under event management and planning. In fact, many of the best event management software solutions now have an integrated design and diagramming component.

Common features for event floor plan apps include element libraries (tables, chairs, furniture, etc.); customized room boundaries; reusable layout templates; automatic alignment of items; auto-generated layouts; and 2D and 3D representation.

Event Marketing

Event organizers usually take one of two approaches in the marketing software tools they choose for their events:

  1. They use general marketing applications for managing email marketing (MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.), social media posts and profiles (Hootsuite, AgoraPulse, etc.), websites and blogging (WordPress, SquareSpace, etc.), marketing analytics (Google Analytics) or all-in-one marketing platforms (Hubspot, Marketo, etc.).
  2. They use marketing tools included in their event management software application of choice.

Regardless of the path you decide to take, if your event management tasks include promoting and marketing your event, you should include this category of tools as part of your product evaluation as well as any necessary integrations with your existing event registration and ticketing tools.

Attendee Management

Managing attendee registrations, contact information and outreach is a fairly common event management requirement, so it’s vital for most event and meeting planners to have a reliable event CRM solution for tracking this data.

In the past, a simple guest list tool would suffice in managing this data. But in this era of enhanced attendee engagement and analytics, you would be well served to identify an app that supplies more functionality, including:

  • Registration order and questionnaire response tracking
  • Assigned seating chart creation
  • Advanced attendee detail tracking like VIP status, meal choices, track or session selections and group assignments
  • Name badge creation
  • Attendee check-in app with QR code scanner
  • Event mobile app integration (more on this in a moment)

Event App

Another way to engage attendees prior to and on event day is to deploy an event mobile app. Typically these are used for larger conferences, conventions and trade shows, but really you can use them for any event where you feel your audience would benefit from tools that simplify how they stay informed and connected at your event.

Event apps allow organizers to automate and consolidate many functions and resources into a single app on a smartphone or tablet, and so the most common uses of event apps include:

  • Online event program and directory
  • Interactive digital map of event space
  • Personalized schedule for each attendee
  • Built-in attendee networking and communication tools
  • Social media integrations
  • Registration and ticketing integrations
  • Polling and surveys
  • Sponsor and exhibitor promotion

Event Business Tools

If you run an events-based business like an event venue or event planning firm, then you may want to consider event management platforms that include business and financial tools for managing clients and billing.

Often tools built specifically for the events industry will have particular features or functions that fit your needs better than generic business or financial tools, but this is something you will need to consider when making your assessment. And there may be certain business management tools (like for accounting, customer relationship management, word processing/spreadsheets, etc.) that don’t fall under the aegis of event management.

With that said, these are the most popular tools and features that are sought after by business-minded event professionals:

  • Lead management - contact manager, lead webforms, pipeline/funnel tracking, fast lead retrieval
  • Email communications - account inbox, integration with existing email addresses, drip campaigns, email marketing tools
  • Proposals - line items, categories, image gallery, electronic signature capture
  • Contracts - standard legal language templates, electronic signature capture
  • Invoices - line items, categories, installment billing, deposit tracking
  • Payment processing - credit card transactions, ACH transactions
  • Financial reporting - revenues, open invoices, past due payments, financial analytics

One thing to attend to is that if you use accounting software like Quickbooks, the business tools in your event management platform should integrate with your bookkeeping tool of choice. Otherwise you will be wasting lots of time double entering data into two software apps.

Venue Management

Any venue that rents out its space or engages in group sales or catering sales (which includes restaurants and hotels as well banquet halls and event facilities) is also in the events business, and as such needs event tech tools and venue software apps to help them run the events side of their business.

These venues will probably require some or all of the business tools mentioned above (especially the lead management and invoicing tools) as well as the following additional features:

  • Booking management - team calendars, integrations with other e-calendars, space/time holds, double-booking prevention
  • Event room/space tracking - reservation tracker, floor plan setup templates, room limitations/amenities
  • Food-and-beverage management - food/beverage items (ingredients, recipes, portion sizes, etc.), menu building, quantities/headcounts, billing
  • Kitchen management - banquet event orders, kitchen orders, ingredient and shopping lists
  • Resource management - inventory tracking (rentals, glassware/plateware, linens, audio visual, etc.)

Note that there is a difference between event venue software (which focuses on the ability to manage the events business and customers for a venue) and platforms for facility management (which focus on room and equipment reservations, maintenance, security, lease administration, etc. for an entire building or facility).

Virtual Event Platforms

Possibly the newest form of event technology on this list, virtual event management software has grown in popularity in the 2000s as organizers and attendees alike have found value in exposing their live events to an Internet audience. Since the arrival of the coronavirus epidemic, this technology has experienced massive growth because it has enabled the events industry to take events online during periods of stay-at-home and social distancing during the COVID-19 threat.

How do virtual event tools fit into the world of event management apps? Mainly by enabling event professionals to self-broadcast events from a single location from multiple remote locations. In the past, these tools were used mainly for webinars and training purposes, but now you can find entire conferences and trade shows being broadcast virtually as well as smaller meetings and even social events.

While some virtual event management solutions offer online registration / ticketing and event marketing tools (like event websites, email communications and event apps), most of them include these features:

  • Live video/audio broadcasting in high definition
  • Streaming of presentations and pre-recorded video content
  • Attendee engagement tools (live chat, Q&A, live polling)
  • Virtual networking rooms and apps
  • Asset libraries for attendees (videos, white papers, etc.)
  • Integration with social media live streaming platforms

Finally...

As you can see, event management software can span a wide variety of tools, features and functions, so it’s best to start your search knowing exactly what you need to accomplish and what jobs you want the software to do. Once you have that list, finding the right fit is just a matter of trying out the solutions that align with your needs.